Seasonal Guides for Your EMPIRE® Zoysia Maintenance
If you have a mature, established EMPIRE Zoysia grass lawn, drop your mower a notch and give your lawn a “buzz-cut” for the first mow of the spring with a rotary mower that has a sharpened blade. Bag up all the material to keep excess clippings from clumping or causing disease. Check out our Sod University article on the First Mow of the Spring for EMPIRE for more details. After your initial “buzz-cut,” begin mowing your zoysia grass at the height of 1–2 inches. You can return to spreading your mower clippings on the lawn at this time.
Don’t overwater. EMPIRE needs about 1-inch of water a week considering rainfall.
For optimal results, feed your lawn during the spring season by applying Lawnifi Foundation, a granular fertilizer, or the Lawnifi Spring Fertilizer Box.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent summer annual weeds like crabgrass and goosegrass from plaguing your lawn and garden.
Apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to prevent spring insects from appearing or to control any current spring insects like billbugs or white grubs.
Apply a systemic fungicide at a preventive rate to keep disease from taking hold of your lawn.
EMPIRE Zoysia’s mowing heights during the summer generally range from about 1–2 inches. When mowing during the summer, never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time.
Do not overwater the grass. EMPIRE only needs about 1-inch of water weekly. Water for longer periods of time, less frequently and in the early morning hours.
For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the summer season by applying the Lawnifi’s Summer Fertilizer Box or apply Lawnifi Foundation once every three months.
It is not recommended that you apply an herbicide at this time. Once temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the herbicide will damage the grass.
Check for and control any hunting billbugs. Other insects to look out for include mole crickets, grub worms and spittlebugs.
Disease outbreaks in EMPIRE are uncommon at this time. Treat with a broad-spectrum fungicide like Heritage if needed.
During the fall, mowing will occur less often—keeping your EMPIRE slightly higher than the regular 1–2 inch height will encourage deeper root growth which helps it survive in colder temperatures and during winter dormancy.
Water less as temperatures drop—too much water will lead to disease. Water to prevent drought stress while grass is actively growing and after the beginning stages of dormancy to prevent dehydration.
For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the fall season by applying the Lawnifi’s Fall Fertilizer Box or apply Lawnifi Foundation once every three months.
Apply pre-emergent herbicides to control winter annual and perennial weeds like chickweed, henbit, Poa annua or purple deadnettle. Apply post-emergent herbicides only when weeds are present.
If large patch is a common problem in your EMPIRE, apply a fungicide at a preventative rate.
A Word of Caution for Newly Sodded Lawns
A pre-emergent contains a chemical that prevents a weed from putting down roots. Because it is a root inhibitor, it can also negatively affect your new lawn, which is trying to establish itself by putting down roots. If you successfully killed and removed your old lawn, including all the weeds in it, your newly sodded lawn should have relatively few weeds. It is suggested that you hand pick weeds out of your newly sodded lawn for the first season.